The Division of Continuing Education in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is responsible for four major programs:
The combined enrollments in these programs approaches 20,000.
The Harvard Summer School, founded in 1871, is the oldest academic summer session in the United States. Each summer more than 5,000 students of all ages come to Harvard from every state and nearly 80 foreign countries to study for eight weeks with faculty from Harvard and other major American and foreign universities. The open-enrollment program sponsors nearly 200 day and evening courses in more than 45 lib eral arts fields.
The Summer School features a selective college-level program for highly qualified secondary school students, the Ukrainian Summer Institute, as well as courses in premedical sciences, expository and creative writing, economics, and many foreign languages, among others.
The Harvard Extension School was founded by Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell in 1909 as an academic evening program designed to serve the educational interests and needs of the Greater Boston community. The features of the Extension School have remained constant from the beginning: open enrollment, part-time evening study at Harvard, coeducation for all ages, modest tuition rates, a distinguished faculty drawn primarily from Harvard University, and the opportunity to study for personal enrichment, career advancement, or degrees or certificates.
More than 550 courses are offered each year, including health and computer sciences, liberal arts, administration and management, many foreign languages, and expository and creative writing, to nearly 13,000 students of all ages. In 91 years of operation, the Extension School has provided instruction to more than 350,000 people.
Some 5,000 degrees and certificates have been granted in the Extension School undergraduate and graduate programs.
The Harvard Institute for English Language Programs was founded in 1950 to meet the language needs of post-World War II immigrants to the United States. During the academic year, the Institute offers part-time day and evening programs to non-native speakers from the Greater Boston community. During the summer session, intensive day, part-time evening, and a number of business programs are offered. The combined enrollment for the Institute's summer and academic year programs is more than 2,100.
The Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement was founded in 1977 to provide retirees an opportunity to pursue intellectual interests and explore new areas of learning in peer-taught study groups. More than 500 women and men, ranging in age from their fifties to their eighties, participate in the program each year.